Friday, July 08, 2011

Learning to Teach: ESL in the Classroom!

The first week of McGill's intensive summer institute has flown by and I have learned more than I could have ever imagined! First of all, let me say that teaching a class of 16 adult ESL students (even with a partner teacher) is significantly harder than my one on one tutoring sessions. The professor brings an amazing background and insight to her teaching, and it's so engaging to interact with teachers from all different backgrounds. Wow, is there ever creativity in this profession - and I must say the Quebec Education Program (QEP) seems very interactive, innovative and liberal. (Somehow I don't think Conservative Alberta would go for type of learning). 

Let me say, kudos to all you teachers out there that teach so many teens and kids at once - I can barely manage all the lesson planning for the adults! (but I love it).

So, my mornings have been filled with learning to teach reading and writing strategies, afternoons with lesson planning and ESL research and Tuesday and Thursday nights with three hours of volunteer teaching at Maison de Amitie, a volunteer centre for refugees, new immigrants, and francophones who want to improve their English. (They also run French classes). It is really inspiring to see these individuals, who have just arrived in Canada, SO motivated to learn the language, heighten their careers, and change their lives. It really lets you believe that anything is possible.
           Thanks to a few late night tutoring sessions for my summer students, my first PhD thesis editing client (so exciting!) and some other online tutoring, I have been able to squeeze the tight budget and buy a pass to Moksha yoga Montreal, a yoga mat and a Yogitoes anti-slip mat! (Lululemon lets dogs into their stores here!) While I still love Bikram's intensity, Moksha does allow me to slow down a bit. In fact, I'm looking forward to the challenge of Saturday evening's Hot Yin class (I finally have time to take a Yin Yoga class!)

My tired, happy puppy
This weekend will be filled with studying (in each 2 week intensive course, we have 4 major assignments, including a portfolio of our lesson plans), a modest 6 hours of tutoring and as much exercise with puppy as possible! We narrowly escaped having to look for a new place when Kiara's barking got too much - luckily I found a dog daycare (dog walker actually, who takes care of 12 dogs and runs them all day. 
Joyce even picks Kiara up and drops her off, for the same price I pay in Edmonton for doggie daycare! Doggie daycares, though, are not walking distance (I have been walking everywhere!) and cost $30 per day here. Luckily, the dog walking is working and I have a tired, happy, puppy :) 

Well, I'm off to go out with puppy, who is allowed on cafe patios here until early in the morning (24 hours in the second cup on Ave du Parc!). It is such an amazing feeling to only have stress from a part of my life I love.
Stay tuned for this weekend's post on what I love about Montreal (and places to go!)

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